Monkeypox has spread to more than 20 countries, but the outbreaks are containable, WHO says

1 month ago

RT: Maria Van Kerkhove, Head a.i. Emerging Diseases and Zoonosis astatine the World Health Organization (WHO), speaks during a quality league connected the concern of the coronavirus astatine the United Nations successful Geneva, Switzerland, January 29, 2020.

Denis Balibouse | Reuters

The World Health Organization connected Thursday said the monkeypox microorganism has dispersed to much than 20 countries, urging nations to summation surveillance of the infectious illness arsenic outbreaks grow. 

About 200 confirmed cases and much than 100 suspected cases of monkeypox person been detected extracurricular of countries wherever it usually circulates, according to Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's Covid-19 technical lead. She said much cases of the uncommon viral illness will apt beryllium reported arsenic surveillance expands, but added that the caller dispersed is containable.

"We expect much cases to beryllium detected. We are asking countries to summation surveillance," Van Kerkhove said during a Q&A connected the planetary wellness agency's societal media platforms. "This is simply a containable situation. It volition beryllium difficult, but it's a containable concern successful the non-endemic countries," she said.

Monkeypox has dispersed to North America and Europe successful caller weeks, generating outbreaks successful countries extracurricular of Central and West Africa wherever the microorganism has circulated astatine debased levels implicit the past 4 decades. A milder West African strain of the microorganism is driving the outbreaks and astir patients retrieve successful a fewer weeks. No deaths person been reported truthful far.

The European Union has confirmed 118 cases of monkeypox, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Spain and Portugal person reported the largest outbreaks successful the EU with 51 and 37 cases respectively. The United Kingdom has confirmed 90 cases of the virus, according to the U.K. Health Security Agency.

In North America, the U.S. has identified nine cases of monkeypox crossed 7 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Canadian wellness officials confirmed 16 cases of monkeypox, each detected successful the state of Quebec.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said connected Thursday immoderate patients successful the U.S. haven't traveled to countries with progressive outbreaks, suggesting that the microorganism is spreading domestically. Walensky said the CDC is conducting interaction tracing and trying to interruption chains of transmission successful the U.S.

Health officials successful Europe, the U.K. and the U.S. person said a bulk the patients are cheery oregon bisexual men, with the microorganism spreading successful galore cases done sex. However, the officials emphasized that monkeypox tin dispersed to anyone done adjacent carnal interaction careless of intersexual orientation. Van Kerkhove said it is important to rise consciousness astir who faces an elevated hazard close present without stigmatizing anyone.

Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease. The microorganism tin dispersed done immoderate benignant of sustained skin-to-skin interaction with an infected idiosyncratic who has a lesion. It tin besides dispersed done assemblage fluids, contaminated bedsheets and clothing, oregon respiratory droplets if a idiosyncratic has a lesion successful their mouth.

The microorganism usually begins with symptoms akin to the flu specified arsenic fever, musculus aches, chills, headaches, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes. It past progresses to assemblage rashes characterized by raised bumps that crook into puss-filled blisters which yet adust retired and autumn off.

Van Kerhkove urged health-care professionals to see monkeypox a diagnosis for patients with rash illnesses that contiguous astatine intersexual wellness clinics, exigency departments, infectious illness clinics, primary-care physicians and dermatologists. 

"It doesn't mean that anyone with a rash volition person monkeypox but we request to rise consciousness astir what monkeypox is and isn't, and we request to guarantee that countries person the capableness to trial and supply the close information," she said.